The success of a ship in performing its mission depends on the ability of the naval architect to understand how the design features of a ship affect its performance. The ability to relate the performance of a ship in a seaway to its design features is one of the basic goals of a naval architect. Ship's performance is a matrix of parameters that describe its stability, maneuverability, response to wave excitation, ... etc. The efforts in relating design features to the different parameters of the performance matrix have met different degrees of success, greater with regard to powering and seakeeping and with regard to maneuverability.

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